Jefferson Parish sheriff's investigators last month arrested Louis Robinson, 62, who they said had been using the name Richard John Batt III since the 1970s.
Robinson, who had been picked up on child-pornography charges in Metairie July 20, was also facing charges this weekend related to ID theft.
The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune said Robinson obtained the birth certificate of the real Richard Batt, a 5-year-old New Orleans boy who died of leukemia in 1960. He allegedly used the document to apply for a driver's license and Social Security card.
Robinson lived under the assumed name without anyone catching on for three decades, police said. He was tripped up when relatives of the real Richard John Batt III learned of Robinson's arrest in the media, the newspaper said.
The Times-Picayune said Robinson lived for periods in Colorado and Florida and also had some minor scrapes with the law using the name Richard Batt. Investigators continued looking into Robinson's past to learn why he assumed a new identity and if he was linked to any other past crimes.
The real Richard Batt's mother, Norma Steele, was contacted by deputies. Steele said she didn't recognize Robinson's photograph.
"It makes me so uneasy to think he's been using my son's name all this time," Steel told the Times-Picayune.